Monday, October 23 , 2017, 9:02 pm | Fair 70º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara City College Looks at 2017-18 Spending Plan

Proposed budget would trim about $1.5 million compared to the current fiscal year

Santa Barbara City Colleges’ operating spending would drop about $1.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1 under a budget proposal unveiled Thursday. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara City Colleges’ operating spending would drop about $1.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1 under a budget proposal unveiled Thursday. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara City Colleges’ operating spending would drop about $1.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1 under a budget proposal unveiled Thursday.

The tentative fiscal 2017-18 year budget projects expenditures of $94.1 million, down from $95.6 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The reduction is largely by academic salaries, operating expenses, decreasing capital outlay, and classified and other nonacademic salaries.

According to the tentative financial report, the budget anticipates $90.9 million in revenue, down from $98.3 million this year. The decline is predicted to come from state apportionment funding, declining enrollment and money that disappeared when Proposition 30 expired.

That would leave the college with a budget deficit of $3.6 million, down from the number estimated in October reflecting an overall deficit budget of $9 million.

“As time moves on, we learn new things, and the deficit number changes,” Lyndsay Maas, acting vice president of business services, said during a campus budget forum. “We are trying to forecast better and better. In the finance world, we are trying to improve upon our budgeting.”

The decline in enrollment results in less funding, Maas said.

The number of full-time equivalent student fell by 8-percent in 2015-16 and dropped 7 percent in 2016-17.

One solution to offset the budget deficit is offering a supplemental early retirement plan. With 71 employees taking early retirement, the district's is expected to save $8.6 million over the next five years, Maas said.

A tentative 2017-18 budget including updated five-year projections is expected to be presented to the college board of trustees on June 22 for approval.

Adoption of the final budget is forecast on Sept. 14.

The highest amount of revenue SBCC received in the unrestricted general fund was $111 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year. A vast majority of the money was one-time funds received, Maas said.

Gov. Jerry Brown's May budget revision provides a COLA, or cost of living allowance, increase of 1.56 percent, up from 1.48 percent.

The base apportionment increase is predicted at $2 million in recognition of cost growth in pension rates, employee benefits and utilities.

The Community College League of California issued a caution saying the funding proposal is higher than required by the constitutional minimum funding level. The Legislature could choose to use funds for other priorities, Maas said.

“There are some concerns that we won’t get the full $2 million,” Maas said.

A video and audio recording of the meeting can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQWdT1-yBbY

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Santa Barbara City College Acting Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas addresses those in attendance Thursday at a campus budget forum. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara City College Acting Vice President of Business Services Lyndsay Maas addresses those in attendance Thursday at a campus budget forum. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
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